During the 1980s I was an avid bowler and jogger. I bowled as many as 100 games a week and ran 5 miles a day. In 1988 I experienced a lot of pain in my right knee; so much pain, in fact, that I stopped running and bowling. I saw an orthopedist in The Dalles, my home at the time, who ended up performing arthroscopy to repair torn cartilage in my knee. He told me I wouldn’t have the knee by the time I was 60. From that time on, I refrained from walking and bowling. At 60, I still had the knee. But in February 2017 I began to experience a great deal of pain in the knee to the point I could only walk with a limp and needed NSAID relief. Finally, in Late August 2017, I had a total knee replacement at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon.

My treatment and recovery

I was put on a waiting list and had to wait nearly 5 months before I could have the surgery. During that time, I was given a handicap sticker for my car and had to curtail my activity as the pain grew worse. The lack of activity caused me to put on a great deal of weight. The surgery itself went really well. Late in the afternoon after I returned from recovery to my room, a physical therapist had me up and walking. By mid-morning the next day I was sent home with an icing machine and a prescription of oxycontin. The oxycontin really helped with the pain though it played havoc with my taste buds and appetite. Less than a week after returning home, I began outpatient physical therapy. The therapists were very kind but aggressive in their regimen for me. Within 2 months of the surgery I was pain free, off my pain meds, and walking without a limp.

Tip

Listen to your physical therapist and follow their suggested regimen. It may hurt, especially at first, but in the end it will pay real dividends in your ability to return to a normal life.

My Second First

I can walk normally without pain. I walk daily on my treadmill for 3 to 5 miles. I can help my wife in the garden. Because of the exercise and diet, I have lost 39 pounds. I sleep pain-free. I have plans to run a mile on August 28, the one year anniversary of my surgery. I feel much younger than my 70 years.

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